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Keep Your Kids Learning with Selkirk College's Outstanding Summer Camp Programs

By Contributor
July 24th, 2013

Boundary kids can keep their wits sharp and their curiosity revved up at Selkirk College’s annual Summer Camp program offered in Grand Forks, Christina Lake and Midway.

The first few camps have come and gone but there’s still more scheduled, so it’s not too late to register your budding artist, drama maniac or mad scientist.

“We hope that the kids are able to take away some solid learning outcomes in a fun interactive learning environment,” said Jennifer Wetmore, Continuing Education Coordinator at the Selkirk College Boundary /Grand Forks campus.

Thanks to a lot of local talent, and financial support from partners like Community Futures Boundary, the Boundary is able to offer outstanding programs with real professionals. So your kids are getting a quality learning experience with people who live here and often know the students already.

“Selkirk College makes an effort – wherever possible – to use local talent,” said Wetmore. “We are lucky to live in a region where we have access to amazingly talented and experienced individuals who want to work for their community.  This year we are proud to have Christine Carlson, Anya Soroka and Cindy Alblas leading our programs.  Each of them resides in our region, has a passion for where we live, and enjoys working with children to make learning meaningful.  How lucky are we?”

This year’s summer selection has a few firsts – it’s the first time Selkirk College in this region has offered a Theatre Camp and the first time an Arts Camp has been offered in the summer. This is the second year the Science Camp has been offered.

Theatre Camp creates confident kids

Anya Soroka, who is a professional actor who grew up in Grand Forks and completed a BA in acting at Boris Shukin Theatre Institute in Moscow, Russia, kick started the summer camp season with the two-day Theatre Camp she held last week.

The camp may be about theatre, but acting skills are something kids can use in all aspects of their lives and throughout their lives.

“Acting can be used in all realms of life,” said Soroka. “Students learn how to project and receive energy, focus, express and articulate themselves, respect for themselves and others, trust their intuition, listen to each other, be patient, expand their imaginations, and work in groups along with many other skills. These are all great communication skills, social skills, and tools for combating many situations in life from a day at school to being able to confront and deal with new and possibly intimidating experiences.”

Soroka uses theatre games like the mirror game, clapping game and the energy game to teach those skills in a fun way. The first camp ended in a Fairy Tale Skit in which the kids worked in teams to recreate a favorite fairy tale and got to dress up and perform in front of the group.

“I hope the students will come away with a greater sense of self-confidence, appreciation of themselves, understanding of themselves, ability to express themselves, awareness, and joy,” said Soroka.

While the first camp was for the younger children, there is a camp July 24 and 25 for 9 to 12 year olds. Soroka will take the older campers into longer exercises with more focus and more depth into the exploration of emotions, trust building and energy projection. The older group may also explore skit writing and write a short play by the end of the camp.

Science Camp is explosively fun

What do you get when you mix water, soil and some fun chemical reactions?

A Selkirk College three-day Science Camp filled with fun.

“I hope that the students have a fun-filled couple of days, in which science is at the forefront and is made accessible to everyone attending,” said Science Camp instructor Christine Carlson, who has a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and a Master of Science in Botany.

Carlson has spent much of her university career and post-graduate life teaching including working with the New York Restoration Project, a non-profit organization in Manhattan, where she taught science to more than 300 kids over a school year. Now a Grand Forks resident, Carlson brings her experience to the Selkirk College classrooms.

“My goal is to provide a place for exploration and experimentation of science concepts in a way that everyone attending can get something out of it,” said Carlson.

“I try to create a welcoming and open atmosphere where everybody feels respected and has the opportunity build relationships with others and to learn something new and fun.  We do a variety of projects in order to incorporate multiple learning styles.”

Each of the three days has a theme. Day one is called Nature Rocks. Campers will explore soils, ecosystems and organisms. There is a nature hike and an exploration into how quicksand works.

Day two is Mad Scientist Day. Campers will use chemistry to create goo and explore chemical reactions, optical illusions and do some scientific journaling. 

On day three, campers explore Water Wonders and the Kettle River Watershed with Graham Watts, Kettle River Watershed Management Plan project coordinator. Watts has them create their own watershed out of Lego, pipe cleaners and sponges to illustrate how water flows and how to prevent erosion.

Art Camp gets the creative juices flowing

Art Campers will be exploring their inner creativity during the one-day session with Christina Lake glass artist Cindy Alblas.

Alblas, a director for the Christine Lake Arts and Artisans Society (CLAAS) who manages the Arts on 3 Gallery at the Christina Lake Welcome Center, will take campers on a creative journey through the art world.

“Children taking my camp will learn that being creative is super fun,” said Alblas. “They will learn about different artists and different techniques, focusing on texture during this arts day.”

Campers will learn about impressionist paintings and their origins and will have the opportunity to create an impressionist style art piece for themselves, weather permitting.

By the end of the day the young Monets will be able to take home a completed tea light made from tissue paper and recycled glass jars and a colourful mobile, play with texture using paint and create fused glass jewelry.

“What I enjoy most is inspiring young artists, opening their minds to the elements, the colour wheels, to spark the creative inspiration that comes from within,” said Alblas.

There’s still time to register for the next Summer Camp series

The next Arts Camp will be held at Christina Lake Welcome Center on July 27 for kids aged six to 12 years old.

There are three more Science Camps. The Christina Lake Welcome Center camp runs from July 30 to August 1 for kids aged six to 12 years old. It’s offered again in Midway at Boundary Central Secondary School from August 12 to 14 for kids aged 6 to 12 years old. And finally, it returns to the Grand Forks Selkirk College campus from August 26-28 for 6 to 8 year-olds.

Theatre Camp also has several more offerings. The next intake is at the Christina Lake Welcome Center on July 22-23 for kids aged six to eight years old and July 24-25 for the nine to 12 year olds. The same camp will also come to Midway on July 26 and 27 for six to 12 year olds.

All camps run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m except the Science and Theatre camp at Christina Lake which start at 10 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. Bring a lunch and some snacks, lots of water and a sun hat. You should also bring your swimsuit and towel for some free time at the beach.

Arts Camp costs $55, the Science and Theatre Camps cost $125 each, not including GST.

The Summer Camp program was made possible thanks to our generous sponsors including Community Futures Boundary (Platinum Sponsor),  KAST (Gold Sponsor), the Grand Forks Bottle Depot, the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan and the Granby Wilderness Society.

To register for a Selkirk College Summer Camp, call 250-442-2704 or email

Learn more about Continuing Education programs or visit Continuing Education’s Facebook page.

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Categories: Education